Expedition 50/51 Launches to Space Station on This Week @NASA – November 18, 2016 | Summary and Q&A

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November 18, 2016
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Expedition 50/51 Launches to Space Station on This Week @NASA – November 18, 2016

TL;DR

The Expedition 50/51 crew launched to the International Space Station, a supermoon appeared, NASA conducted airborne science flights over Antarctica, and GOES-R satellite mission was previewed.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the significance of Peggy Whitson assuming command of the International Space Station?

Peggy Whitson is set to become the first woman to command the space station twice, which highlights her expertise and leadership in the field of space exploration.

Q: What is a supermoon and why is it significant?

A supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth, making it appear larger and brighter. The supermoon in this case was the only one in 2016 and won't happen again until 2034.

Q: What is the purpose of NASA's Operation IceBridge?

Operation IceBridge is a mission that aims to study changes in polar regions' ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice. This data helps researchers understand climate changes and their impact on the Earth's environment.

Q: How will the GOES-R satellite benefit weather forecasting?

The GOES-R satellite, known as GOES-16 in orbit, will provide high-resolution images of weather patterns and severe storms as frequently as every 30 seconds. This real-time data significantly improves weather forecasts, severe weather outlooks, and other relevant predictions.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Expedition 50/51 crew, including NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, launched from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station.

  • A supermoon, the closest to Earth since 1948, rose in Kazakhstan above the Soyuz spacecraft.

  • NASA's Operation IceBridge conducted important flights over Antarctica, studying polar ice.

  • NASA and NOAA participated in media events to preview the launch and mission of the GOES-R weather satellite.

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